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Happy 20th Birthday Fieldbus Foundation

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the merger between ISP and WorldFIP as recognized by the business filings. So many things have evolved since the merger first happened and here we are 20 years later talking about a new merger between HART and Fieldbus Foundation to create FieldComm Group. Exciting times indeed. We all look forward to what the future will hold!

Open Standards Impact

I found myself reading an interesting article today from Wired.com. It was an article on the “connected home” of tomorrow. As we see more and more of our lives pushed towards automation, it just seems natural that automation would extend into a smarter home. In fact, I have a digital meter outside my home that not only provides my electricity provider the convenience of reading my meter remotely, it also allows me to view my energy consumption from a day to day basis…even down to a hour by hour basis. It’s really cool stuff. Every week I receive an email that details my electricity use each day, and even gives me the high and low temperatures in my city on those days. Even more impressive, I can compare the usage over time (last week, last month etc.). Still further, I have a Wi-Fi connected thermostat that allows me to setup, monitor and change my thermostat without ever having to get off the couch or even be at home altogether. Life is grand.

As more and more start-ups begin designing more complex advancements into our homes to automate things like our lights, TVs, dishwashers etc. the more we put ourselves at risk to cyber attacks. There is an inherent risk with opening your home to outside connections, but those risks exponentially increase with obsolete systems or buggy works done by low budget automation houses. This is where standards can help and where on line in particular from the article stuck out to me: “The best way to ward off…problems before they metastasize is to embrace openness.”

I will not argue that open standards are inherently more secure than a proprietary solution, but in general there are many reasons why it actually can be. The difference is in world-wide usage of a standard. Proprietary solutions tend to be developed and maintained by a smaller group of highly trained unique individuals. Open standards by contrast are spread widely, and are adopted and implemented by many. The benefit being that buggy back-door findings and strange anomalies get detected sooner, and can be fixed purely based on the number of individuals interacting with it. It’s the same principle that makes “group think” so powerful. 

Often, proprietary systems run by a core group of individuals lack the outside view of others. Ever heard the saying “Can’t see the forest for the trees?”. This is the same idea. The core group gets so engrained in doing what they do, that they cannot see a flaw if it exists. I’m sure the people over at Siemens would love to have prevented the Stuxnet virus that left a big black eye against their teal coloring. I think everyone can agree on that.

By adopting open standards, individuals and companies can minimize risk and ensure longevity to their investments. Open standards are owned or run by one single manufacturer so if one goes bankrupt or can’t offer the solution you need, another is there to take its place.

Long live standards-based protocols! Long live fieldbus.

P.S. For those interested in the article that started it all, check out the article posted on wired here: http://www.wired.com/2014/08/connected-home/

Fieldbus Foundation and HART Boards Support Joining to Create a New Industry Organization

Austin, Texas, July 25, 2014 – The Boards of Directors of the Fieldbus Foundation and the HART Communication Foundation are pleased to announce that they have approved unifying the two Foundations into a new industry organization dedicated to the needs of intelligent devices and their integration in the world of Process Automation.

The combined power of both organizations will serve to protect the investments that end users in Process Automation have made in HART and FOUNDATION™ fieldbus communication technologies. The mission of the combined organization will be to develop, manage, and promote global standards for integrating devices into automation-system architectures, providing functional solutions for process automation suppliers and end users. Suppliers will also profit from the increased efficiencies in resource utilization, procedure consistency, and member service and support improvements.

The Fieldbus Foundation and HART Communication Foundation have a long history of cooperation. For example, the two worked together to develop common international standards, such as Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) specifications and Field Device Integration (FDI) technology. Combining the organizations offers significant potential for harmonizing the procedures and efforts supporting the two protocols, as well as simplifying each technology’s implementation while better delivering their full benefits in plant operation and maintenance.

The Foundation Fieldbus and HART specifications will continue to exist individually, and to evolve into the future. Each protocol will retain its own brand name, trademarks, patents, and copyrights.

The new organization will continue development, support, and promotion of the two existing protocols, and will direct the development, incorporation, and implementation of new and overlapping technologies. Thus, the new organization will eventually serve as the single source for FDI, the sole integration tool for HART and FOUNDATION fieldbus technologies. The name of the proposed organization is not yet finalized.

The next step will be to complete the membership ballot by the end of summer 2014. Following a successful membership vote, legal filings for the creation of a new not-for-profit entity will take place in September 2014. As a final step, it is expected that the new organization offices will be consolidated and located near Austin, Texas, in early 2015.

About the Fieldbus Foundation

The Fieldbus Foundation is a global not-for-profit corporation consisting of leading process end users and automation companies. Within the Fieldbus Foundation, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organizations work together to develop an automation infrastructure that allows you to view your process in high definition; manage information effectively; and optimize people, processes and technology. For more information, visit their web site at www.fieldbus.org.

About the HART Communication Foundation

The HART Communication Foundation (www.hartcomm.org) is the technology owner and standards organization for the HART Communication Protocol. Founded in 1993, the Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit, membership organization providing support for the HART Communication technology and standards worldwide. The Foundation is supported by a global membership of 319 companies. HART Communication is the leading technology for process measurement and control with more than 40 million HART-enabled devices installed worldwide.

Calgary Canada Shows it’s as Strong as Ever on Fieldbus

Success! The Fieldbus Foundation’s North American Marketing Committee participated in the first seminar of 2014 year in Calgary, AB Canada on June 5th and 6th.

The engineering offices of Fluor in Calgary started the successful week by hosting the Fieldbus Foundation for a lunch and learn for over 35 engineers from the Quarry Park and Sundance locations. The event was led by Talon Petty of the Fieldbus Foundation with subject experts Mike Clark – BusCorp, David Lancaster – Previously of Bechtel, and John Rezabek – Ashland Chemical. The event was very well received by the engineers who showed a strong understanding of FOUNDATION fieldbus, yet also a thirst for the latest information.

Mike Clark presented on the topic of what the Fieldbus Foundation dubs VirtualMarshalling. Mike’s presentation, titled “Why Make Marshalling Smarter, When You Can Eliminate It?” discusses the solutions available in the industry and how they each work from a schema perspective. Some folks often wonder how they can make marshalling smarter or more user friendly, but from the perspective of FOUNDATION fieldbus, electronic marshalling was eliminated the day FOUNDATION fieldbus was created. With FOUNDATION, the marshalling doesn’t require any hardware or software configuration changes, it’s simply all there. It’s done natively in FOUNDATION fieldbus. Devices simply tell the user what they have available, and the user configures the device as they see fit.

Dave Lancaster presented on the topic of Host/Device Selection. This very important step can often be under-evaluated because a few exciting device features sold a device to the user before he/she could properly understand its capabilities compared to it’s required use case in their application. Fully understanding a users application and needs, give the users the ability to make important selection choices, and when the user spends the extra time fully understanding the impact of his/her choices during the host/device selection, the project is more successful overall. Dave’s presentation offers key consideration points for users and engineers to think about during the selection phase.

A big thanks goes out to all of the engineers at Fluor that participated in the lunch and learn and the team there at Fluor that helped coordinate the activity.

The event on June 6th, hosted at Hotel Arts in downtown Calgary, was the 2nd event in as many days and was a smashing success with roughly 130 registered attendees for the day-long event. The event covers a full project lifecycle from infrastructure selection to maintenance and device replacement. You can read the full agenda here: Calgary Agenda.

Hosting some of the most knowledgeable FOUNDATION experts in North America, the seminar challenged some past notions and offered some helpful best practices based on years of experience. The 2014 seminar is all-new down to the demo system on display. In the past years, the demonstration units showed static devices on display, but in 2014 the new unit actually runs a live process during the event to fully immerse the audience and to illustrate how powerful FOUNDATION fieldbus is for process applications. One particular such instance is when we illustrate Control in the Field (CiF). After demonstrating the redundancy and robustness of the host system, a catastrophic failure is simulated via complete loss of the control system. Despite total loss of the DCS, the attendees see continued control of the process level application via CiF. To take it a step further, a dump valve is opened to show an immediate loss in level after which the valve goes full open and continues to maintain level even with this additional process disruption. It’s a powerful demonstration.

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2014 FF Seminar Demo Unit

There are 2 more seminars in North America currently scheduled for 2014. The locations are Baton Rouge, LA and Houston, TX (Sept 15-16 & Sept 17-18 respectively). If you’re in either of those areas be sure you sign up to attendee the new seminar, you won’t regret it! You can view additional information at http://fieldb.us/seminars-2014. Other global seminars can be found by going to http://www.fieldbus.org and browsing under the “Global” section of the website for specific regions.

Another big thanks goes out to all of our seminar sponsors that allow us to host these events free of charge to attendees. These guys have great FOUNDATION fieldbus solutions to showcase to attendees at each show.

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Measurement & Control Show 2013 (JEMIMA)

Back on November 6-8th 2013 the Fieldbus Foundation’s Japanese committee participated in the Measurement & Control Show in Tokyo. It was a great success. This event, previously called JEMIMA, is the biggest Process Automation trade show in Japan and thanks to the hard work of the Japanese marketing committee, the Fieldbus Foundation booth at the show was very well received. We do not have any hard numbers on the total yet, but the 2011 show in Tokyo hosted over 25,000 visitors and over 300 booths!

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On display at the booth was the new FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (ROM) technology. This new enabling technology helps to better expand Fieldbus capabilities to remote assets without the traditionally complex custom solutions available in the past. ROM allows for the integration of multiple wireless technologies as well as traditional wired standards into the FOUNDATION infrastructure. The booth on display showed ISA100.11a, WirelessHART and traditional wired HART and H1 all working together in a single system. Since these technologies are all being adopted into the open architecture of fieldbus, it also gives the user the added assurance of scalability for integrating future wired & wireless standards.

Be sure to check out the photos we posted from the event on our Flickr page:

Flickr: FOUNDATION Booth at the Measurement & Control Show 2013

The Fieldbus Foundation also hosted a press conference on November 6 2013 to the local media about updates that have happened with ROM since our official announcement at the show in 2012. Speakers at this conference included the President & CEO of the Fieldbus Foundation, Mr. Richard Timoney, as well as VP of Asia Pacific Operations, Mr. Hisashi Sasajima.

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Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee Supports ISA Automation Conference 2013, Saudi Arabia – December 2013

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 16 September, 2013 – The Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee (FFMEMC) is pleased to announce its support of the forthcoming ISA Automation Conference and Exhibition – Europe, Middle East and Africa 2013, to be held at the Sheraton Dammam Hotel & Towers, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 8-12 December, 2013. In addition to being an official supporter of the conference and exhibition, the FFMEMC and member companies will be active participants throughout the event.
Organised by the Saudi Arabia Section of ISA (International Society of Automation) and DMS Global, the global marketing specialist for the energy sector, the ISA Automation Conference and Exhibition will be dedicated to process automation with the theme ‘Experience the Future’. ISA Automation 2013 will include a comprehensive technical conference programme, product exhibition, technical training sessions and workshops, and technology panel discussions throughout the five day event.
Industry sponsors of the event include: Saudi Aramco (titanium host sponsor); ABB (diamond sponsor); Al Abdulkarim, Auma, Azbil, Emerson Process Management, Invensys, SKF and Yokogawa (gold sponsors). The event is also supported by the FDT Group.
As part of the technical conference programme, the FFMEMC will give a technical presentation entitled “The Benefits of High Speed Ethernet (HSE) and FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (F-ROM)”. FOUNDATION™ fieldbus has been adopted extensively across the Middle East region in almost all the greenfield and the majority of the brownfield sectors of the region’s refinery, petrochemicals, chemicals, upstream and gas plant applications. Remote Operations Management is one of the fastest growing segments of the process automation industry today. The F-ROM solution enables end users to diagnose the condition of their automation assets either locally or remotely and then optimise predictive and preventive maintenance strategies.
The FFMEMC will also be conducting a ½ day technical tutorial session which will include practical insights into the implementation of FOUNDATION fieldbus systems in a range of applications with hands-on training and hints for successful system design, physical layer considerations, device commissioning, diagnostics, trouble-shooting and asset management.
As Head of ISA Saudi Arabia Section and ISA Automation 2013 Conference Chairman, Luay H. Al-Awami, Instrumentation Consultant at Saudi Aramco, commented, “The technical conference programme promises to be outstanding – we have been overwhelmed by submissions from industry leaders and subject matter experts. The selected papers explore the latest products, innovations and technologies and offer a unique opportunity for all participants to learn and discover.”

Luay H. Al-awami – Saudi Aramco
Al-Awami continued, “The conference will include several training sessions and workshops as a key aspect to enable automation engineers to get better exposure and some real hands-on experience with the products and technologies that they have installed or are considering for their applications – practical tutorials with technology experts are one of the most valuable ways to learn.”
Representatives from several FFMEMC member companies will participate in themed panel discussions that will address and discuss topical issues and challenges within the process industry – the full programme will follow in due course.
In addition, representatives from the sponsoring member companies will showcase their fieldbus products and services at the trade show enabling delegates to discuss their applications and view the technologies and solutions available.
Mehul Vaidya, Chairman – FFMEMC, welcomes the opportunity to be so actively involved in the event. “The FFMEMC enjoys a close working relationship with several ISA groups across the Gulf region and is particularly pleased to support the ISA Saudi Arabia Technical Committee in the organisation of ISA Automation 2013. This conference brings many technologies and facets of automation to a common platform. FOUNDATION fieldbus is definitely one of the leading technologies in the market and the FFMEMC is keen to engage in such an event.”
Mehul Vaidya – Chairman FFMEMC
Mehul continued, “Similarly, the FFMEMC has developed a strong partnership with Saudi Aramco as a major contributor to the Fieldbus Foundation Middle East – End User Council, and we are extremely grateful for the personal efforts of Luay H. Al-Awami in his role as FFME-EUC Chairman for several years. ISA Automation 2013 promises to be a unique opportunity for all parties involved with process automation to share or gain the latest technical knowledge and applications experiences from industry experts, suppliers, and end users from around the globe.”
ISA Automation 2013 is the first event of its kind in the region but Mohammed Loch, President & CEO – DMS Global, is confident that it will become a cornerstone event in the Middle East Process Automation calendar. “There are many mega energy events in the Middle East.  However, the ISA Automation Europe, Middle East, Africa Conference & Exhibition 2013 is the first major event to be dedicated to the Automation Sector. We are thrilled to have the official support of the Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee as it shows that it is not just an ISA event but a platform for the whole industry.”
For more details about ISA Automation Europe, Middle East, Africa Conference and Exhibition 2013, visit www.isa-emea-expo.org or email isa@dmsglobal.net.
For more information about the Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee and its activities, visit the Middle East pages of the Fieldbus Foundation website www.fieldbus.org.
About the Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee
The Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee was formally established in 2004 and currently has 15 members including ABB, Azbil, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Invensys, Metso Automation, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Rockwell Automation, Samson, Siemens, R.Stahl, Turck and Yokogawa.
The FFMEMC is fully supported by the Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Steering Committee that implements the directives and strategies of the Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Executive Advisory Council (EAC). Since its establishment in February 2005, the FFEMEA EAC aims to ensure the funding and availability of human resources to support local fieldbus marketing across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The FFMEMC aims to host three or four technical seminars per year throughout the region and supports the Fieldbus Foundation Middle East End User Council in its activities. To view the upcoming events with the FFMEMC, visit the Middle East Events Page. 
About the Fieldbus Foundation
The Fieldbus Foundation is a global not-for-profit corporation consisting of leading process end users and automation companies.  Within the Fieldbus Foundation, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organisations work together to develop an automation infrastructure that allows you to view your process in high definition; manage information effectively; and optimise people, processes and technology.  For more information, visit their web site at www.fieldbus.org.
About the International Society of Automation (ISA):
Founded in 1945, the International Society of Automation (www.isa.org) is a leading, global, nonprofit organisation that is setting the standard for automation by helping over 30,000 worldwide members and other professionals solve difficult technical problems, while enhancing their leadership and personal career capabilities. Based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA, ISA develops standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; and hosts conferences and exhibitions for automation professionals. ISA is the founding sponsor of the Automation Federation (www.automationfederation.org). The Saudi Arabia Section of ISA (ISA-SAS) was officially formed on October 24, 1980 under Saudi Aramco support.
About Data Media Systems (DMS):

Data Media Systems (DMS) is a global marketing specialist for the energy sector. It has various divisions, namely the DMS Projects, DMS Publishing, DMS Events, DMS Cybernation and DMS Promostation. DMS operates globally through its operations in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, India, China, Singapore, Russia, UK, Italy, Spain, Canada & USA.  For more information please look at www.dmsglobal.net

NEW Brochure Released on the Basics of FOUNDATION Fieldbus

What is FOUNDATION fieldbus? How does it differ from 4-20mA? What are the advantages of our all-digital FOUNDATION fieldbus network? These are just a few great questions users find themselves looking to understand before retrofitting their existing plants. The Fieldbus Foundation has put together a new brochure addressing just these types of questions. The new literature is a ‘back-to-basics’ style brochure focusing on the core of what FOUNDATION fieldbus is at its roots. This guide provides a simple explanation to new users, potential users, marketing professionals etc looking to understand what value FOUNDATION delivers.

What is FOUNDATION fieldbus?
Get back to the basics with the new FOUNDATION fieldbus brochure

Click on the link above to download the brochure and understand how this real-time digital communication network designed specifically for process control can help you gain the competitive edge through reduced hardware footprint, reduced device count, faster commissioning, tighter control, better signal quality and advanced diagnostics.

The Fieldbus Foundation also has many alternative resources available to help understand the value of FOUNDATION technology on an ongoing daily basis. Below are a few;

Social Media/Forums

Official FOUNDATION Fieldbus News Outlets

The Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee To Host End User Technology Seminars in Saudi Arabia and Qatar – June 2013

The Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee (FFMEMC) and Fieldbus Foundation End User Council – Middle East (FFEUC-ME) will be hosting two evening end user seminars from 5.30pm – 8.30pm, followed by a complimentary dinner on:
  • June 4th: Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
  • June 5th: Doha, Qatar
Registration has opened for the FOUNDATION™ Fieldbus Technology Seminar – Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, to be held on Tuesday 4th June, 2013. The event will be held at the Mövenpick Hotel – Al Khobar, Prince Turki Street, Al Kourneesh, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
For full information, agenda and online registration for the Saudi Arabia event, click here:
Registration has opened for the FOUNDATION™ Fieldbus Technology Seminar – Doha, Qatar, to be held on Wednesday 5th June, 2013. The event will be held at the Radisson Blu Hotel – Doha, Salwa Road, Doha, Qatar.
For full information, agenda and online registration for the Qatar event, click here: http://www.cvent.com/d/1cqb4q
These end user seminars aim to take the mystery out of FOUNDATION fieldbus and allow end users and systems integrators to realise the true lifecycle benefits of the technology. Whether a user is new and contemplating their first fieldbus project, an experienced user trying to get the most out of their installation, or a systems integrator that wants to implement fieldbus successfully – then these seminars are ideal. The events are supported by Fieldbus Foundation member sponsorship and there is therefore no charge to attend.
The comprehensive agenda includes overviews and updates about the latest technology developments and initiatives from FOUNDATION experts, an insight into FOUNDATION system design and implementation, and a presentation from an end user of FOUNDATION technology.
Question & answer sessions offer an open forum for the sharing of end user experiences and queries and are always a very valuable aspect of these end user events. Delegates will have the opportunity to meet representatives from the sponsoring members of the FFMEMC and review the technical catalogues of FOUNDATION fieldbus products and services that they offer.
All attendees are invited to stay for a complimentary dinner – providing a valuable opportunity for questions & answers or general discussions with fellow delegates, presenters and FOUNDATION fieldbus experts.
The FFMEMC enjoys a close working relationship with several ISA groups across the region and is pleased to be cooperating with the ISA Saudi Arabia and Qatar Chapters to host the events. Similarly, the FFMEMC is delighted to be working with members of the Fieldbus Foundation End User Council – Middle East (FFEUC-ME).
The FOUNDATION Fieldbus Technology Seminar series 2013 is sponsored by Fieldbus Foundation member companies: ABB, Azbil, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Metso Automation, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Rockwell Automation, Samson, Siemens, R.Stahl, Turck and Yokogawa.
For more information about the Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee and its activities, visit the Middle East pages of the Fieldbus Foundation website www.fieldbus.org.

2013 Fieldbus Foundation General Assembly Keynote Presentation Now Available!

The Fieldbus Foundation just posted the Chinese and English versions of the Keynote presentation by Mr. Lin Rong of Sinopec SEI that was given during our March 14, 2013 General Assembly in Shanghai, China. Both versions can be viewed on our slideshare account at http://www.slideshare.net/Fieldbus-Foundation. All other presentations are also available on that page.

The General Assembly in Shanghai saw over 260 end users register and over 110 manufacturers/reps in attendance. It was a great chance for everyone to talk and share their successes and solutions surrounding FOUNDATION fieldbus. To review the event agenda from the 2013 event, you can click here: Fieldbus Foundation General Assembly Agenda

You can also watch the short video shot on location to see what the General Assembly looked like in person below:

Special thanks again to all of the great sponsors supporting this annual event!

FOUNDATION Fieldbus: Control in the Field Helps Nicaragua Achieve its Aggressive Renewable Energy Agenda

Having been awarded the concession for a geothermal field in Nicaragua, US geothermal power specialist Ram Power and their design engineer POWER Engineers evaluated the available technologies and opted for a standard control system to be located centrally in the control building. The decentralized field devices (e.g., pressure and temperature transmitters and control valves) at the San Jacinto Steamfield are linked to the central controller over a FOUNDATION fieldbus Modbus over Ethernet gateway. The project team of Ram Power selected the Softing FG-110 FF gateway to link the field devices to FOUNDATION fieldbus technology. In using this approach, Ram Power was able to exploit the advantages of FOUNDATION fieldbus Control in the Field (CIF) to implement the required control loops, thereby moving the actual control function from the control room to the field devices.

To learn more about the business value of Control in the Field, check out ARC’s report: The Business Value of Control in the Field. You can also click the link in the body copy about for a great presentation on CIF by Travis Hesketh at our General Assembly in 2011.
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